On October 1st, the small town I live in is having an outdoor celebration called RiverFest. I live in the Ocean State, but it could also be called the River State. Or even the Pond State. In any case, we have a river called the Saugatucket, with a great walking bridge over it in the town center. RiverFest is basically a block party, with food, music and general mingling. One of its special features will be a thing called River Fire, in which several cauldrons of fuel will be floated along the Saugatucket River and lit after dark, while music plays in the background. I couldn’t find a good photo, but it’s a spin-off of Water Fire, an event started years ago on the Providence River by a former mayor. Here’s a photo of a previous Water Fire, Providence, from MI Business Mag.
We don’t have gondolas at ours, but it’s really magical and even spiritual in an elemental way that’s hard to describe. I plan to be there. And pretend Pinktober isn’t happening.
After that, I wouldn’t mind being plugged into an IV of Versed for the rest of the month and beyond, as long as I were woken up in time to vote in the Presidential Election. Then, I’d want to be sedated again for twenty-four hours, gently awakened when the results were in, and, depending on which way it goes, either provided with a bottle of champagne or another dose of Versed.
I’ve been objecting vehemently to Pinktober for years now. And I’m tired. I’m tired of the trivializing games, the sexualizing slogans that focus on saving body parts instead of lives, the lack of focus on research and on the unacceptable death toll which remains largely unchanged. It’s all so SSDD (same shit, different day). A case in point is that Komen has launched another tone-deaf campaign this year. It’s called More Than Pink, and it physically sickens me to provide the link. Should be called “Just More Bullshit.” The headline declares that Komen has defined a new goal to “cut current breast cancer deaths in half.” I guess cutting the other half of current breast cancer deaths doesn’t count. I’ve read the press report about three times now, and I still can’t figure out what exactly Komen plans to do to accomplish this remarkably callous goal.
I first learned of Komen’s campaign yesterday, in a Facebook post by my friend Lara, who blogs at Get Up Swinging. Of note is that Komen has actually trademarked the phrase “More Than Pink,” which was, in fact, first coined by a cancer activist group called Real Cancer Awareness in 2013, whose mission is to counteract the pink bullshit by promoting some genuine awareness of cancer — all cancer. To that end, they put together some amazing videos, which you can watch here and here. So, not only is Komen klueless once again, but they’ve also ripped off someone else’s catch phrase once again. And they actually pay a bunch of marketing people an obscene amount of money to do this. They must hire them from another planet. Or maybe they’re zombies. Today, another friend, Kelli Parker, summed up Komen’s idiocy nicely with a Facebook post headed, “In related news, American Red Cross announces bold new goal to START helping disaster victims.”
Fortunately, there are a lot of folks in our social media community who are not zombies. One effort to start Pinktober on some kind of useful footing will occur on October 1st. It’s called #BreastCancerRealityCheck, and it invites all of us to flood social media with examples of what real awareness comprises, in order to leaven the stupid pink party and merchandising extravaganza that Pinktober has become. Please click on the link and add your support.
In the meantime, I’ve run out of energy for more words, but I’ve been spending some quality time with Photoshop. Here is one of the results. Feel free to share it by using this link. Or click on the meme itself. Hope it makes you laugh. We could all use a laugh, even if it’s a sardonic one.